Just a week after announcing it is pulling the plug on its Pathfinder Web site to focus on launching hubs that steer Internet users to its brands, Time Warner Inc. on Wednesday appointed the exec team to head its “cross promotional” online effort.
The expected move (Daily Variety, April 27) will divide Time Warner’s popular brands — including CNN, People, Time and Entertainment Weekly — into five thematic hubs, broken down into news, business, sports, lifestyle and entertainment, all of which include e-commerce opportunities.
Where popular Web portals such as Yahoo! and Lycos send online users to other Web sites in the Internet universe, Time Warner hopes its hubs will keep visitors browsing throughout the online TW family.
According to an internal Time Warner memo released Wednesday, the appointees primarily hail from the Turner Broadcasting side of the media conglom.
Jim Moloshok, prexy of Warner Bros. Online, along with Paul Vidich, executive veep of Warner Music Group, will oversee the entertainment hub — Entertaindom — set to launch this summer. The site will incorporate the online presences for Warner Bros., Looney Tunes, Warner Music Group and Entertainment Weekly.
Lou Dobbs, prexy of cabler CNNfn will head the business hub, including sites for CNNfn, Fortune, Money and Mutual Funds.
Steve Korn, vice chairman and chief operating officer of CNN News Group will headline the news hub, including sites for CNN and Time magazine.
The sports hub, to include CNN/SI, will be headed by Jim Walton, prexy of CNN/Sports Illustrated.
Ann Moore, prexy of the People Group will oversee the lifestyles hub, managing sites for InStyle, People, Cooking Light, Sunset, Southern Living, Parenting and Health magazines, along with Internet content from CNN and TBS.
Michael Pepe, appointed director of e-commerce, in January, will work with the different heads to execute Time Warner’s Web strategy.
The hub leaders will report to a four-member management team, which includes Richard Bressler, Time Warner chief financial officer; Don Logan, chief executive of Time Inc.; Terry McGurik, chief executive of Turner Broadcasting; and Terry Semel, co-chairman of Warner Bros. and Warner Music. The team will report directly to Time Warner chief executive Gerald Levin.
Over the past year, Time Warner’s online efforts have seen traffic numbers increase and hopes the hubs will “allow Time Warner to capture a growing share of the advertising dollars flowing to the Internet.”
“It is clear that the nature of the Internet and the unique opportunities it presents require an organizational and management approach different from what is in place in our current businesses,” the memo said. “It will bring a new level of integration to our businesses and underline the crucial role of teamwork in everything we do.”